Tigers lay foundation for future success

PHOTO COURTESY SD PUBLIC BROADCASTING James Valley Christian Vikings’ golf coach Phelan Stahl proudly hoists the team trophy Tuesday in Yankton.

One dynasty continued, one school won its first team and individual title and the foundation for a new power may have been put in place at this week’s State Golf Tournaments.
Sioux Falls O’Gorman won it’s third straight Class “AA” girls’ state title and 8th in the past 12 years. In fact, the Knights have finished first or second each year since 2007.
O’Gorman will not repeat - word is that the school is expected to change its name next year - and it will return its top two players.
But the foundation laid this season by Huron coach Chris Rozell, assistant Loren Struble and their young group of golfers may well pose a threat to the O’Gorman dynasty.
Three of the four girls who played in the 2018 state tournament were back for Rozell this year, led by the ‘old veteran’ of the team, Karlie Bigelow, who is a sophomore this year and finished just outside All-State recognition last year as a freshman. Karlie was joined this year by a pair of freshmen players, younger sister Kenya Bigelow and Libby Picek. The fourth player on the roster - that’s right Rozell had only these four to work with this season - was eighth-grader Bryn Huber. Both Kenya Bigelow and Huber got their feet wet at last year’s state event, so this year’s season ender was likely old hat for them.
Huron finished 11th this year after carding a seventh place finish last year, which is much more reflective of the caliber of Class “AA” girls golf this year over last year than any falter by the young Tigers.
Karlie Bigelow and Bryn Huber both finished in the Top-25 at the State Tournament, earning them both All-State recognition. Not in recent memory have the Tigers had a pair of All-State players on their team and the duo led the team in scoring all year long.
Rozell sets the stage for next season as he gave a look back at this year’s season and state tournament.
“The girls had a great state tournament,” Rozell said. “Karlie Bigelow and Bryn Huber had two solid days of golf, earning an All State medal in a highly talented field of golfers.
“Kenya Bigelow had a strong second day, proving she can shoot low scores at the state tournament, which will give her confidence for next season. Libby Picek shot 15 strokes below her season average both days, which is also great for next season.
“With Karlie being our oldest golfer as sophomore, this group has a lot of potential in the future,” Rozell said.
Huron was one of a handful of teams that lowered its first day team score by double digits this year. The quality of play was stout and the Tigers rose to the occasion.

James Valley Christian’s boys’ golf team capped a tremendous year with its first state team title, led by its first individual medalist, Austin Boomsma.
Carter Wells finished third for the Vikings, after holding a slim lead after the first day. Both Wells and Boomsma earned All-State recognition as they led JVC to the title. Boomsma was All-State last season while playing for Miller and he finished three strokes ahead of his future teammate at the 2018 state tournament.
Kudos to Erin Moncur, who followed up her eighth-place finish at last year’s state tournament with a third-place finish at this year’s event. A pair of top-10 finishes with consecutive All-State honors.

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